I have been running UNB for 7 years. Over the years I have seen more mass market acceptance of men’s underwear. The rise of the Metrosexual made it more acceptable for straight guys to start paying attention to what they wore. However, we still have a very long way to go to make it a non issue in public.
Women’s underwear has always been a non issue in the general public. Victoria’s Secret every year around Thanksgiving has a show on network TV in prime time. Rarely is anything said about this in the media or in general. What if 2(X)ist did the same thing. Would they be on a network TV or a cable channel? Would we see guys walking the runway in anything but trunks and briefs? Doubtful.
Underwear is about feeling great. I know on the people reading this I am preaching to the choir. Is it sexy? Yes it is. Its is fun? Sure is. But why is it that we can have thonged Victoria Secret models but when David Beckham is in a Super Bowl commercial we talk about hiding his bulge? Its definitely a double standard in the US.
Recently we posted about musician Steve Grand and wearing swim briefs. He’s tired of the press, pardon the pun, covering him more for wearing a swim brief than this professional career. He’s a very talented artist and would we have the same coverage of a female star in the same situation. Sure they may post a paparazzi picture but they wouldn’t dwell on it and only cover her if she wore a bikini. It would be a bonus for her and more people would discover her music. There is definitely a double standard in our country.
Outside of the gay community guys, for the most part, don’t talk underwear. It’s still something that is giggled at and thought of as pornographic. I have first hand knowledge of this thought process. When people find out I run a blog about men’s underwear. I get one of two responses. The first is “WOW that’s so cool” or “You do what?” The second is always a bit weird like they just met Larry Flint. They think it’s a totally sexual thing with no redeeming factors. Like I just post pictures of guys and go “he’s hot”, “Look at that bulge”, “I want to tap that ass” and other stuff.
For me and the purpose of UNB is to spread the word about how underwear can make you feel better and sexy throughout the day. It’s about empowerment in what you wear without judgment. In 2008 when I launched UNB I figured the blog would be for my friends who loved underwear and it wouldn’t go much farther. After 7 years we have gathered quite a following. Our straight guys have grown as well. All guys want amazing underwear regardless of sexual orientation.
How are we going to accomplish breaking out of this double standard? Regardless of sexual orientation we need to talk about underwear. What brands we love and why we love them. If we wear underwear to the gym don’t be afraid to wear something that isn’t a white brief and if someone comments (good or bad) address it and say you wear what’s comfortable and makes you feel great. These are baby steps but sometimes that just how things get done, slowly but surely. So go out, wear what you like, and don’t be afraid to talk about it, to defend it. Underwear is about you but with continued dialogue we can help make it acceptable for us.